Jon Huntsman for President? Don’t make former New Hampshire governor, and recent state Republican party chair John Sununu laugh.
“Huntsman won’t play well here. Huntsman won’t play well anywhere, because Huntsman’s only barely a Republican,” Sununu told Real Clear Politics’ Erin McPike this week.
Sununu piled on the former governor of Utah, who’s expected to ramp up a presidential bid after he resigns as President Obama’s ambassador to China this spring.
“Huntsman’s too liberal, comes with the tarnish of having accepted the appointment from Obama,” Sununu said. “He’s never said anything really conservative in his life. How’s he going to win in a conservative primary? He can’t. Huntsman is, in my opinion, a non-player.”
Huntsman clearly hasn’t been seeking advice from Sununu, who just ended his stint as chair of the New Hampshire GOP. Huntsman, a moderate, was seen a serious threat to Obama in 2012 before the White House shipped him off to Beijing. Huntsman’s supporters clearly think he’s still got what it takes to make Obama a one-termer, spooling up a presidential campaign in waiting while Huntsman finishes his time in the Obama administration.
Sununu says, the association with the White House will be Huntsman’s undoing with Republican voters in the all-important Granite State.
“He’s still an Obamaite. We’re not going to nominate an Obamaite,” Sununu said. “And I will make sure the Republican Party does not nominate an Obamaite.”
So who does the former New Hampshire chief executive see winning the Republican nomination next year? Sununu told McPike “he’s partial to governors and former governors who are considering the race, and he named former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, as well as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as the best options.”
Read the whole interview here.